NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One person was charged late Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping and death of a Brooklyn landlord earlier this year.
Kendel Felix, 26, of Brooklyn, was charged with second-degree murder Wednesday night, police said. Earlier, sources said a total of at least three people were being questioned in Menachem Stark’s murder and that authorities may be searching for more suspects in the case, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
No other suspects had been charged as of the 8 p.m. hour.
The NYPD earlier confirmed they had one suspect in custody in connection with the case and revealed they believe the suspect is a contractor who Stark owed a large sum of money to, CBS 2 reported.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday that the case had “accelerated” in the last 24 hours, but would not confirm any arrests.
Stark’s partially burned body was found inside a Dumpster at a gas station in Great Neck, Long Island back in January.
Surveillance video showed Stark being abducted outside his office on Jan. 2 in South Williamsburg as two suspects struggled with him and forced him into a light-colored 2006 or 2007 Dodge Caravan. A day later, his body was found.
In a statement, Assemblyman Dov Hikind said three suspects were in custody in connection with Stark’s death.
“I have followed this terrible and tragic case from the beginning and applaud the NYPD for their tenacity in pursuing the murder suspects,” he said. “I look forward to the suspects’ day in court and expect swift justice to be handed down. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Stark family.”
Hikind said it appears Stark’s murder was a botched robbery and had nothing to do with his business dealings.
“One of the speculations when the case broke, when his body was found, was that people hated him and people were out to get him,” Hikind told 1010 WINS. “All of that speculation was wrong because based what we know now so far, it was just a bunch of individuals who were out to rob him. Plain and simple.”
“It should be a lesson for all of us because it just causes additional pain for the parents, for the wife, for the children,” Hikind told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
Councilman David Greenfield also issued a statement saying suspects were in custody.
“Today’s actions by the NYPD are a testament to their commitment to solving this case. I applaud the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio for putting every resource into solving this heinous murder,” he said. “We will now have to work hard to make sure that these murderers never see the light of day again.”
Stark was a wealthy real estate developer and a father of seven.
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